Fighting Ebola, And The Conspiracy Theories

A New York Times editorial stated: “Misinformation about politics may often seem silly — the immigration bill will give out free cars! — but the consequences of false beliefs in public health can be deadly.

In the developed world, myths about the risks of vaccines have enabled the resurgence of communicable diseases like measles and pertussis. And in developing countries, false beliefs have hindered efforts to fight H.I.V./AIDS and eradicate polio in countries like Nigeria and Pakistan.

Read more

Nearly Half Of Americans Are Afraid The U.S. Will Experience An Ebola Outbreak

The Huffington Post reported: “Ebola has never been transmitted in the United States (and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that it “does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public”). Yet, four in 10 adults in the U.S. are afraid that there will be a large outbreak in this country, according to a recent survey from the Harvard School of Public Health.

The survey, conducted along with independent research company SSRS, also showed that one in four U.S. adults is worried that a member of their immediate family will become sick with Ebola sometime in the next year.

Read more

APHA Releases Ebola Resource During Global Outbreak

Since the first report of Ebola in March, the World Health Organization has confirmed 1,603 cases and 887 deaths resulting from the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. In light of the ongoing outbreak, called the “largest in history” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the APHA Bookstore has made the Ebola-Marburg virus chapter of its forthcoming Control of Communicable Diseases Manual (CCDM), 20th Edition, available online as a free download to aid public health workers responding to the disease.

Read more

Using A Tactic Unseen In A Century, Countries Cordon Off Ebola-Racked Areas

The New York Times reported: “The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is so out of control that governments there have revived a disease-fighting tactic not used in nearly a century: the “cordon sanitaire,” in which a line is drawn around the infected area and no one is allowed out.

Cordons, common in the medieval era of the Black Death, have not been seen since the border between Poland and Russia was closed in 1918 to stop typhus from spreading west. They have the potential to become brutal and inhumane. Centuries ago, in their most extreme form, everyone within the boundaries was left to die or survive, until the outbreak ended.

Read more

NJ Health Officials Say Risk Is Low, But They’re Still On Watch For Ebola And Chikungunya

New Jersey Spotlight reported: “Worldwide alarm over the West African Ebola virus outbreak has highlighted the fact that such infectious diseases are spreading due to increased travel.

And that globalization of viruses has led New Jersey health officials to take precautions against tropical diseases, including testing for a pair of mosquito-borne viruses.

They’re also alerting healthcare providers to the symptoms of Ebola, which led to one state resident being isolated for part of last week until it was determined that the person wasn’t exposed to Ebola.

Read more

A Front Line Against Ebola Runs Through Newark’s Terminal B

The New York Times reported: “Erica J. Sison has dealt with sick and dead dogs and cats, 40 dead lab rats in bags, trophy animals, cooked monkey meat on sticks, human skulls from Indonesia and a live Asian bat that flew out of an airplane cargo hold.

Now she is poised for Ebola, and has seen three false alarms in the last two weeks.

Ms. Sison, the quarantine officer in charge at Newark Liberty International Airport, is on the front lines of a complex system developed to protect United States borders from a “Contagion”-like invasion of rare foreign diseases. It is, she says, a bit anxiety provoking.

Read more

Few Preparations In Event Of Ebola In US – Unclear How To Allot Drugs, Equipment

“We use a scoring system that predicts the likelihood of survival,” said Dr. Hassan Khouli, chief of the critical care section and chair of the ethics committee at Mount Sinai Roosevelt in New York City. Khouli serves on the state’s task force that is updating the guideline to include children. “The ethical principle driving this is to save the most lives.”

Read more

A Best Practice Is Not Always Evidence-Based!

“Faster care hasn’t cut heart attack deaths in hospitals.”

A recent USA Today article noted “The Medicare metric for timely heart attack treatment is … “door-to-balloon” time — the time between when a heart attack patient arrives in the ER and when the balloon angiography begins — researchers found that the percentage of heart attack patients who die while in the hospital, about 5%, hasn’t changed.”

“Irreversible damage from a heart attack can begin in 30 minutes. Most tissue death occurs in the first two to three hours…” “A new study suggests that speeding up hospital care isn’t enough to save lives … A better predictor of survival might be ‘symptom to balloon time’…”

Read more